An Australian-born baby who has spent his entire life in detention has experienced his first taste of freedom, with baby Ferouz and his family finally released from detention in Darwin.
Maurice Blackburn Senior Associate Murray Watt said the family were now staying with family in Melbourne, having been detained for over 14 months following Ferouz’s birth in Brisbane in November 2013.
“This is a very significant moment for Ferouz and his entire family,” Mr Watt said.
“This opportunity has been a long time coming: Ferouz has spent every night since leaving hospital living in detention and now finally, after more than a year he has been released, along with his parents and siblings, to join relatives living in Melbourne.
“For Ferouz’s parents in particular this is very special, they have never stopped fighting for a fair go for their children in seeking a better life and they are now finally able to start making that a reality.
“We understand that other Australian-born babies and their families have also been released from detention over the past few days, with details to be confirmed.
“Detention centres are no place for babies and children, and it is disappointing that it took the Australian Government more than a year to also come to this realisation for Ferouz and so many other families, who like Ferouz have spent many months locked in detention.
“This is a great moment, and would never have happened without a long legal fight with the Federal Government, and the support of many in the Australian community.
“However, being released from detention is only the first step for these families.
“Whilst they have been granted bridging visas for now, they must also apply for temporary protection visas to remain in Australia.
“We must also remember that, while the release of these children is a good thing, around 555 children remain in detention, including 135 in the inhumane conditions of Nauru.
“Maurice Blackburn will continue to fight for these children – as a country we can do better than keeping children in detention,” he said.